PAIN OF SALVATION
Progressive Metal / Non-Metal • Sweden

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Pain of Salvation is a progressive rock band from Eskilstuna, Sweden. The band is centered around lead vocalist / guitarist / composer / writer Daniel Gildenlöw.

Trademarks include concept albums focusing on social, environmental, philosophical, and emotional issues as well as songs that incorporate complex rhythms and time changes but retain flowing melodies.

The band was formed by Daniel Gildenlöw in 1984 under the nick name Reality. The band used to participate in many music contests in their homeland of Sweden. The first EP, Hereafter, was recorded in 1996 under the monicker Pain of Salvation, which has been the name of the band since 1991. The Lineup of the band was the same for their first official full length album, Entropia(1997).

After the departure of Daniel Magdic for continuing disagreements with the others over committing to the increasing demands of the band, the band recorded One Hour By The Concrete
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Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived)Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived)
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$9.93
$7.99 (used)
Falling HomeFalling Home
Inside Out Music 2015
Audio CD$8.15
$5.99 (used)
One Hour By The Concrete LakeOne Hour By The Concrete Lake
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$7.97
$3.98 (used)
Road Salt Two: LimitedRoad Salt Two: Limited
Import
Inside Out Music 2011
Audio CD$13.46
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The Perfect Element Part 1The Perfect Element Part 1
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$7.55
$5.71 (used)
BeBe
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$11.26
$4.57 (used)
Road Salt TwoRoad Salt Two
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$12.84
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Pain of Salvation - Be LivePain of Salvation - Be Live
Multiple Formats
Inside Out Music 2012
DVD$11.35
$10.45 (used)
Remedy Lane Re: VisitedRemedy Lane Re: Visited
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$18.45
$72.99 (used)
Road Salt OneRoad Salt One
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$4.49
$4.47 (used)
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PAIN OF SALVATION Discography

PAIN OF SALVATION albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.14 | 49 ratings
Entropia
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 49 ratings
One Hour by the Concrete Lake
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 73 ratings
The Perfect Element, Part 1
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 3.96 | 60 ratings
Remedy Lane
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 56 ratings
BE
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.24 | 47 ratings
Scarsick
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 2.94 | 42 ratings
Road Salt One
Non-Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.47 | 23 ratings
Road Salt Two
Non-Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 2.84 | 4 ratings
Falling Home
Non-Metal 2014

PAIN OF SALVATION EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.25 | 12 ratings
Linoleum
Non-Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION live albums

.. Album Cover 4.38 | 18 ratings
12:5
Non-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.11 | 8 ratings
Ending Themes: On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation
Progressive Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Hereafter
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Fan Club CD 2006
Progressive Metal 2006

PAIN OF SALVATION boxset & compilations

PAIN OF SALVATION singles (1)

.. Album Cover
2.93 | 2 ratings
Ashes
Progressive Metal 2000

PAIN OF SALVATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.60 | 10 ratings
Be Live
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.61 | 8 ratings
Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation
Progressive Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews

PAIN OF SALVATION The Perfect Element, Part 1

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
An 80's hair metal band gets marinated in progressive rock.

I read a lot of very good reviews about this album and saw it was among the top rated prog metal albums on PA and MMA. Since I had just received at the time Symphony X's "V: The New Mythology Suite", which is another top rated prog metal album on both sites, and I quickly grew to love it, I thought that this album should be among my next prog metal purchases. Honestly though, this one is taking its time to appeal to me.

The good points are many. Daniel Gildenlow has a very diverse voice and can sing anything from gruff barks to high screams to smooth and calm to somewhere in between it all. The album tells the story (part 1) of two broken people, He and She, who meet and begin a relationship. That's as far as I got there. I'm afraid the broken people stories don't go far with me. The best one I've heard is Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral". After that it's difficult to impress me with that kind of story. Still, Gildenlow uses his voice to effectively convey the emotions of each part of the story. The music is for the most part not too complex but like "The Wall" (in a way) mostly sticks to relaying the moments in the tale. The tempo stays slow to mid-range and I only noticed one part where a double bass drum comes into play. In this way, this is a pretty mild and tame metal album despite the theme of pain and frustration.

Two other points to mention in favour of the music are the guitar and keyboards. While there are no catchy, bang-your-head metal riffs, the guitarist (be it Gildenlow or Johan Hallgren) uses lead playing to create beautiful melody lines and as well there are some delightful licks here and there in the solos, particularly in "Her Voices" lies a favourite of mine. Fredrik Hermanssen is used very well to provide beautiful piano passages, atmospheric synthesizer, and some powerful rhythm synth work that treads into symphonic prog metal at times, most notably in the title track. I always feel that if you're going to have a keyboard player in a metal band then you should let him/her contribute to the overall quality of the music and not just keep the keys in the background for rhythm behind the guitars.

There's some great music on this album and the songs to stand out the most for me are "Ideoglossia", "Her Voices", "King of Loss" and "Reconciliation". These songs are where the overall feel of the album is wonderfully combined with some excellent music that captures the progressive metal quality best or where the music is simply beautiful. The title track offers some great moments too.

However, there are some aspects of the album that still haven't grabbed me. First, this is not really a heavy metal album. There are parts where the guitars are loud and the vocals screaming or full of raw energy but the majority of the songs are pretty lightweight. Even when the music gets heavy and aggressive I find myself thinking that it needs more bass to enrich the sound. It's as if the band wanted to show aggression without wanting to be offensive. The first four songs are easy to get by because they don't really get the album up and running. It's not until "Ideoglassia" that things really turn exciting and even then the song reuses the pseudo-rap of "Used" and reintroduces the chorus of "Ashes". It almost seems that the album is already reprising music before it has hardly gotten started. Thankfully the rest of the song really begins to show off POS's talent. There are also a couple of puzzling spoken lines like "Call your dad" at the end of "Her Voices" and the beginning of "Dedication" (I'm sure he says, "Call your dad") and "Will I ever walk again?" in the title track. If I familiarize myself with the story more it might make more sense to me, but these lines just seem to leap out from the music and I'm like, "Huh?"

For me, a good album should be enjoyable to listen to straight through and as well have a few songs that can be enjoyed on their own. The four songs that I have mentioned here are great stand alone tracks but the rest of the album goes by me without many parts signaling my attention. I agree that this is a great album insofar as the effort and outcome are concerned. But I am not as excited about the whole concept as I am about the music in a few parts.

For anyone who doesn't like really aggressive metal but can appreciate something a little more melodic and easy, this album makes for a nice safe step into progressive metal. I think it's still a good album, but I'd like to hear another POS album that is either a little more technical or a little more varied in pace.

PAIN OF SALVATION Scarsick

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Pain of Salvation-Scarsick

This may come as a surprise to some, but Scarsick is my second favorite Pain of Salvation album. To some PoS fans, it may come as a disappointment, and some of the rap-metal vocals may be a turn-off to some but this is still a great album in my opinion.

Unlike their previous albums, Scarsick has more crunching guitar riffs and an overall angrier sound. Scarsick is technically the sequel to 'The Perfect Element', which seems to be one of their most critically acclaimed albums even though I can't seem to enjoy it much. Whereas the concept of part one of 'The Perfect Element' was focusing on mental degradation, Scarsick is focusing on the physical degradation of the boy character.

The music is a pretty big change from the standard PoS sound, with more thrash guitar, rap-metal vocals, and the bass stands out much more from what I hear. Certain moments remind me of Porcupine Tree, especially the chorus on the title track. The way the crunching guitar perfectly goes into a soft flowing vocal passage, just reminds me of certain PT songs. There are also moments that almost come near Death metal, such as Gildenlow's screams in the song 'Flame to the Moth'. 'Idiocracy', 'Flame to the Moth', 'Enter Rain', and the title track are my favorites. The only song I have a complaint with is 'Disco Queen', if it wasn't for that song this album would probably be flawless to me. The song just sounds incredibly out of place and breaks the flow of the album, it also isn't very pleasant to hear Gildenlow reach the highest notes he can and imitating Disco.

The lyrics are much more relatable to me, seeing as most of them are about the corruption in society and the government which I feel a similar way about. The lyrics do get really angry sometimes, but it fits the angry mood the music sets in place.

Overall, give this album a chance. It's a perfect example of a love/hate album in my opinion, I happen to love it yet another person may despise it. If you enjoy prog metal AND hints of alternative metal, you may find some enjoyment in this album like I do. I recommend PoS fans to at least check it out. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt One

Album · 2010 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Earendil
Road Salt One sounds like Pain of Salvation had the idea of doing a stripped-down, non-metal song, did a couple demos, and just went with the best version. Then, they repeated this process until they had enough music to fill an album. Welcome to Road Salt One, a concept album where half of the songs are explicitly about sex and the other half are about a girl. I found nothing unifying about the album to warrant it a concept album unless it was how every song sounded like part of the same underdeveloped demo, which is not exactly something to strive for. Overall, some credit must be given because this album is indeed unique, but it fails to deliver at all musically.

Rating: 3/10

PAIN OF SALVATION BE

Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Angry Scotsman
An intriguing album that is a major break from the band's old style.

Considered by some as the bands masterpiece, by some as the beginning of the end for the great band, by some just a weird, difficult work "BE" is a unique piece of music that at least warrants a few listens to try and grasp it.

While Pain of Salvation's first 4 albums were well written, not too technical, emotional and unpretentious classics of prog metal, "BE" is a dense, difficult and pretentious album that is very low on the metal.

Not that it's a bad thing. While proud of their superior music, prog fans have proven they can be as stubborn as any. Frankly, I applaud the band's radical change in direction, even if it's not the best executed, and certainly not the most accessible. Wouldn't we all end up mocking the band if they just made 8 albums of the same thing anyway?

No doubt this is a challenging album. Besides the big drop in heaviness, the whole album works together as one big piece instead of individual songs. Each song flows into the next, and often the songs themselves feature stops followed by huge changes, like the work has moved onto its next part and the "songs" are random lines thrown down randomly not really marking a new piece.

Indeed this appears to be the case. In true prog rock fashion the album is really broken into 5 movements, subdivided into the songs and sometimes the songs subdivided into smaller segments. "BE" deals with human existence, the environment and especially the subject of God. It's a grandiose story that rivals Tool in being labyrinth like and purposely impenetrable. Could continue on with this stuff but onto the music itself before I get too distracted.

"BE" is an extremely diverse prog rock album. There are moments of heaviness, but its largely a mellow prog rock outing with an orchestral feel. Violins, cellos, brass, woodwinds, and church organ are all found throughout. While at first listen "BE" sounds quite minimal, like background to whatever wackiness is going on, if you listen all the way through there are some pretty awesome riffs, melodies and all the staples of Pain of Salvation: off beat syncopation, abrupt changes, gentle movements and rock out thrashing, and of course Daniel's varied always perfect vocal style. Though quite a few times they are over the top and silly, sometimes painful and you have to accept it as part of the whole experience, or grin and bear it.

There is heavy use of spoken word samples like real people calling "Gods answering machine" to say anything they'd like, news stories of various tragedies, a woman orgasming, it's all over the place. Which can be said of the music as well, all over the place. Rockin prog metal, folk passages, church like music and Broadway musical you really have no idea what this album will throw at you.

So I really can't accurately describe this album, not in a way to do it justice, so you just have to listen yourself. It's important not to skip, even if you're going crazy to do so. Just listen from start to finish, and do so several times. At first it will be a mess, I know I couldn't even figure out what was happening, but with time the music itself will appear and it's a pretty solid display of prog rock. Overly serious and wacky, almost to the point of self parody? Seems that way, but just give it a few deep listens. Some parts really are quite beautiful, like the worldly folk piece "Imago" and "Vocari Dei" featuring the people calling "Gods answering machine" is one of the more moving things you'll hear.

I am not sure how to rate this, each person can react to an album like this so radically different, and even though I quite like it, "BE" can not be called a metal album. Which is difficult to rate overall for a metal site. So I'll say it's a pretty good album at it's core, but only each of us can truly decide for ourselves how we feel. Regardless, it's an experience like few others.

Three and a Half Stars, but rate for yourself!

PAIN OF SALVATION Scarsick

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
Mixing up musical genres capturing a mixed up world.

Pain of Salvation's "Scarsick" showed a much more political side of the band that attacked the worldview and is a cynical look at the damage of consumerism, industrialisation, privatisation, McDonaldisation, and every other 'isation' you can think of. The lyrics attack and scratch out the eyes of the system that is suffocating and destroying the freedom. Every song takes a stab at various freedom destroyers from the money hungry manufacturing industry to the music industry itself. Daniel Gildenlow dominates the album on vocals and bass, and the guitar work on this is exceptional from Johan Halgreen along with Fredrik Hermansson's stirring keyboards and dramatic percussion by Johan Langell.

It begins with the indulgent title track stating that they are sick of everything. This is the most metal song on the album with a cool distorted riff and some heavy drumming. It features a rap style and Rammstein style interventions of riffs breaking it up. The lyrics are about surviving against the system that swallows up the underprivileged; "you're not alone, and every time that you hurt, every cut every scar and every time you just hate everything that you are, it is simply the instinct to flee to escape from this mess, this continuous rape of what's true and what's real, so you gnaw at your paw to get out of the trap of the cage of our time, all that rage is your struggle to survive, they think you wanna die when in truth you just strive, biting every hand just to stay alive." This is definitely the best song on the album and starts off the DVD live concert well also, the mix of rap and metal and a melodic chorus, mixing musical genres, works to capture the feeling of a mixed up world.

After this rocker, 'Spitfall' follows that is jammed full of fast paced rap and some weird signatures. I liked the way the keyboards work against the fast rap vocals such as "you're just another Parental Advisory bore, there's nothing like a broken childhood, there's nothing like a broken home, there's nothing like a tale from your hood, there's nothing like a record of restriction orders outspoken borderline disorders a violent long way to the top, the longer that you fought yourself up the longer the spitfall". There are heaps of lyrics on this due to the speed rap, but it is well executed and perhaps better than the average rap song, and has a lot of expletives thrown in too. Then 'Cribcaged' is next with too many F bombs for comfort and this is one I will always skip, as it has nothing to offer apart from just rage and spite and boring music.

They are sick of America and have no problems writing a scathing hate song to it called 'America'. I first heard this on the live DVD and I remember not being impressed with it then and this version is actually worse. It does have some nasty digs at the land of the free though such as, "if I say I love you dare you love me too". I am not sure how this song is taken in America itself but it is not one to play at the white house.

'Disco Queen' is a quirky piece of fun, with some digs at the music industry and homage to the vinyl years "Undressed in front of me, all glistening ebony, You're still so young, but I will show you vintage 33, I lay you on your back inviting curves of black, Making little noises as my needle finds your track". The disco music is humorous and a real diversion on the album, but it works as a result, standing out as unforgettable and maddeningly infectious. It effectively makes fun of the current music scene that is likened to prostitution.

'Kingdom of Loss' is a powerful track based on the abuse of fast food and increasing obesity. It has narratives sounding like a TV station selling the package and the lyrics attack the fast food market as a sold out Earth "Someone sells us god in 2-for-1 with shame, Someone sells us war and the marketing, looks just the same, Someone sells us fear on TV each day, A shape for every taste if the flavours right, we gladly pay, All on sale, all on sale, We're all on sale, all on sale"; a great thought provoking track.

'Mrs Modern Mother Mary' has a scratchy guitar rhythm and some odd time sigs that never quite go in sync with the singing. It is interesting but not one of my favourites. 'Idiocracy' has a crunching rhythm and grinds along with some high register vocals. The lyrics are anti political; "so close your eyes, just take another deep breath now, and fantasize, pretend the world we're forming is a paradise, why can't I close my eyes, why can't I just be hypnotized, industrialized and privatized, all mesmerized, 'cause I can see and what I see around me makes me paralyzed, yes I can see and what I see is not worthy a democracy."

'Flame to the Moth' is a heavier track, and yet another potshot at the industrial age, and this one has some screamo vocals along with Gildenlow's cleaner voice. The lyrics spell it out blatantly; "where did we go wrong? I once had blue eyes, hungry and wise, now they are black from this dark age of lies, we're all privatized, industrialized, we capitalize on the beams in our eyes, it's all in the eyes." The tempo is upbeat and really dominated by the incessant vocals.

'Enter Rain' is a longer song at just over 10 minutes, and has three parts that change in tempo and style. It begins with reflective lyrics and a low key approach. Then it builds gradually but remains steady and quite gentle in comparison to other tracks.

Overall, this is another diverse album from PoS with a variety of styles and some of their most attacking and vitriol lyrical content. The target is basically the world system and commercialism or consumer traps. This makes for an uneasy listen at times, not to the standard of previous material, but nonethess it is a captivating album. There is not a lot of heavy metal music on offer rather it is heavy by nature of the content and the brooding atmospheres. Not as good as "The Perfect Element" or "Remedy Lane" but a decent album worth a listen.

PAIN OF SALVATION Movies Reviews

PAIN OF SALVATION Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation

Movie · 2009 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
A great concert, and a documentary DVD packaged like a TV series: 'a groundbreaking parallel story, mixing Days of Our Lives, Lord of the Rings and Some Kind of Monster.' Clever packaging conceals what this really is, one DVD centres on the touring behind the scenes in painstaking detail, and we learn many useless but amusing things such as their fetish for toy racing cars and Monty Python DVD box sets. The documentary is at times conveyed by the band in their native tongue so subtitles are essential and thankfully available. The doco may not endure repeated viewings but its nice to meet their cute little fan club members and see their delight as they meet the band. It is essential viewing if you want to get through the quiz that has to be completed correctly in order to unlock a swag of special features. You will eventually get the questions right as they do not change and you can write down the answers by a process of elimination. You have to put up with an obnoxious ugly face telling you what a loser you are until you do of course, but it's worth it. You get a special code when you get them all right saving you the hassle of redoing the annoying quiz. But if you put in the code wrong you are sent to 'hell', complete with burning flames and evil laughter, and you have to work your way back to the title menu to get out of it. Nasty touch I must say and quite disconcerting. The features are great particularly the demo versions of 'Scarsick' tracks, deleted scenes, and some nice footage of the band, bootlegs and photo sessions are included.

This is all incidental I guess, as the main drawcard is the actual concert which is well filmed at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam, where other prog bands have been captured on DVD such as Riverside (on ADHD special edition). The performance does not rely on flashy lights or smoke, rather it is all about the music and this is some of POS best material from their highly celebrated albums such as 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake', 'Entropia' and 'Remedy Lane'.

The sound quality is excellent and the audience reactions are well interspersed among the band crunching out one belter after another. Hildegaard has longer hair now and looks more at home with the metal when he bangs his head. Certainly the set list is not flawless, for instance 'Fandango' and 'Beyond the Pale' are missing, and there is a great focus on 'Scarsick' album, however there is enough here to satiate the appetite of most fans.

The crowd pleasers are here such as 'America', 'Nightmist', '! (Foreword)' and the fabulous infectious 'Disco Queen' that the crowd adore and its easy to see why. I love all these but the darker side of the band is impossible to ignore and may not be for all tastes. The expletive heavy 'Cribcaged' is offensive enough and I must admit I hate it when bands think they need to drop the F bomb repeatedly to hammer home a point. So Robert De Niro's cigarette and Al Pacino posters annoy the band; OK, I get it, but why do they have to degrade themselves to this type of material. It's a pity really, as the band are better than this. Look at the way they deliver 'Chain Sling' and their dark version of 'Hallelujah' to see my point. The 'Hallelujah' version is better than the original Cohen IMHO, it is that good, and the crowd sing along loudly in adoration.

The quiet melodic POS is here too on suicidal unfriendly ballads such as 'Undertow' from 'Remedy Lane' and the bittersweet 'Brickworks 1'. It is all very dark and moody and intense. Each track is sung with passion and the time sig changes of the music are admirable. The booklet gives little away, although the oppressive lyrics are here, and the storyline attached is as bogus as the rest of the packaging conveying some story of yet another motor vehicle accident, another one! This is becoming standard prog fair for concept albums these days.

The fake reviews on the so called TV series are amusing, a TV series that is cited as 'a groundbreaking parallel story, mixing Days of Our Lives, Lord of the Rings and Some Kind of Monster.' Work that out! The track listing is identical to the double CD release but its way better to watch the band in full flight as these tracks are pounded out. This is a bit of a hit and miss affair for me; some of the tracks are not as good as other PoS material particularly there is too much emphasis on 'Scarsick', whereas i think 'Remedy Lane' buries it, in fact all their other albums have far more to offer in terms of prog metal, but the energy is tangible, the crowd love it and the music is infectious. 3 stars.

PAIN OF SALVATION Shouts

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